The development of WPC
Our JELUPLAST® bioplastic (WPC) has a decisive benefit compared to conventional plastics made from crude oil.
- No PVC
- No chlorine
- No formaldehyde
- No plasticisers
- No phenol
This is why the JELU team has always believed in this material and never gave up despite many problems. And the success proves them right. Here you can read what difficulties the research team had to face during the development of JELUPLAST®.
2000 JELU-WERK delivers wood fibres to companies that produce wood plastic composite (WPC). Customers report that they have numerous problems when processing the fibres.
2001 The owner of JELU-WERK, Josef Ehrler, seeks direct contact with WPC manufacturers. He finds out that most of the companies have no experience at all in processing wood. Most of the problems they have are due to the fibres’ natural properties. Mixing wood fibres with plastic, for example, is very difficult because the fibres are not free-flowing by nature.
2003 Many WPC manufacturers slide into financial difficulties and give up their trials to produce bioplastic.
2005 Josef Ehrler and his brother Hubert Ehrler are convinced that WPC is an environmentally friendly and future-proof material. They both have decades of experience in processing wood fibres. Since they want to give bioplastic a real chance, they start carrying out their own trials. Their aim is to manufacture high-quality and competitive bioplastic.
2007 The brothers buy a conventional plastics production plant as is used by plastics-processing businesses. They start with initial tests in which they try to mix higher amounts of wood fibres with plastics. The results are frustrating, and many tonnes of clogged and burnt material have to be disposed of.
2009 The original production plant has changed beyond recognition. Thanks to numerous changes and adjustments, they finally succeeded in manufacturing high-quality WPC using the new precision machine. Nevertheless, there are still too many problems to start production on a large scale.
2010 By making significant developments with the plant, Josef and Hubert Ehrler finally have a breakthrough: the WPC production process works trouble-free. Now they can manufacture high-quality WPC on an industrial scale using the production plant they developed onsite. The granulate is launched on the market under the brand name JELUPLAST®. Initial partners start serial production with JELUPLAST®: decking boards, window profiles, pool decks and fencing systems are manufactured.
2012 Josef and Hubert Ehrler’s research team is continuously improving the bioplastic. JELU-WERK now also offers WPC granulates for injection moulding. Some granulates are biodegradable, others are particularly resistant to weather conditions, while others fulfil the German standards for use in toys and foods. Several industrial partners test JELUPLAST® and obtain very good results in processing it with extrusion and injection moulding techniques. The WPC granulate from JELU-WERK is acknowledged by many parties for its extraordinarily good quality.
2014 More companies start testing JELUPLAST® in extrusion and injection moulding. One customer uses the WPC granulate from JELU to manufacture heavy-duty palettes that are used for transporting machine parts. Another business compresses JELUPLAST® to obtain boards to make panels for furniture manufacture. The bioplastic that JELU mixes for this customer is moisture-resistant, providing the boards manufactured therefrom with a specific competitive advantage.